December 9, 2022

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Klay Thompson is living in a severe shooting slump, which creates a dilemma for the Warriors

Let’s start with the raw numbers. They say ugly early in the season Clay Thompson a story. Has fewer points (181) than attempted shots (185) in 12 games. This is an example of excessive incompetence in the NBA.

The advanced analytical community favors the true imaging ratio as a metric. It balances the value of 3s, 2s, and free throws to pump up a balanced number. If you have a true shooting ratio in the mid to high 50s, you’re average. If it’s 60 and over, you’re effective. If your name Steve Curry – Up to 459 points in 290 attempts in 14 games – You currently have a real insane shooting percentage of 70.1.

Thompson’s real shooting percentage is 47.1. Of the 164 players who have attempted at least 100 shots this season, this is the fourth worst. Thompson has a true shooting ratio higher than Jabari Smith JrAnd the James Bucknight And the Killian Hayes. Smith is a struggling rookie. Bucknight is a sophomore fumbler on the bench hornets. Hayes is the least proficient offensive player in basketball.

This digital reality, absent from the context of the team, creates a problem for the Warriors. Smith, Bucknight and Hayes are not special goalscorers. Thompson. He’s hitting 15.4 shots per game, which is the second-most on the Warriors, just ahead of Andrew Wiggins And the Jordan Paul. When a player with a utilization rate of 25.1 is ineffective, it naturally lowers the offense.

But now let’s add team context and zoom in on the third quarter on Wednesday night in Phoenix. Defensive stops have a way of generating the needed momentum. Warriors is currently ranked fifth NBA defense. They don’t get a lot of stations. So when they do, there’s the added importance of taking advantage and building a sprint.

For many years, many of these runs would have been ripped off by Thompson 3 transmissions early in the hour. But Thompson is currently shooting 33 percent in 3s, which is the second lowest among the top 10 shooters in the league. Just Kelly Ober Jr – a ticket? It has a current ratio of 3 percentage points lower.

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So the Warriors trailed in that third quarter, down 90-83, and are still in the game because Steve Curry on his way to a 50-point night. They get a defensive stop. Curry pushes the rebound into the frontcourt. One suns The defender gets behind the play, creating a five-for-four chance. Paul is wide open on the left wing. Draymond Green He has Cam Payne on it. There are many areas to attack and exploit.

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But Thompson bumped and shot with 19 points on the shot clock as his teammates watched in exasperation. Miss Thompson falls to 5 of 14 on the night.

The rush miss created a mismatch as the Warriors once again scatter in transition. Carrie left guard Deender Eaton in the post. But Curry’s muscles are enough against Aiton, and Sun snaps for a long hook, which he misses. It is another rare defensive station. Curry grabs another bounce and tosses it to Thompson, wanting to pick up the pace.

But Thompson uses it as another opportunity to call his own number and try to move on. He rambles into another semi-contested long 3 from the deep right wing as Wiggins sits wide open at the right corner. Wiggins is 9 of 19 from the corner this season.

It’s important to watch Green’s reaction below. He has Payne again under the hoop but sees Thompson shoot another early hr 3 before any sort of move materializes. This made Thompson 5 of 15. Greens has clearly had enough. The energy needed to scatter on defense was absorbed from his body. Walk back. makes a mistake. Curry punches the ball in frustration and hits Technical.

After Curry’s technique, Steve Kerr called a timeout. When the ESPN broadcast came back, a microphone was heard reaching Kerr pleading for his team to trust each other while Curry and Green still seemed a little steamy.

“It’s just a little game,” Kerr said. “At some point there has to be a collective trust and competitiveness because everyone is just trying to do it on their own.”

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Kerr repeated that line in his post-game comments to reporters in Phoenix.

“In order to find it, we have to get everyone on board,” Kerr said. “Everyone has to be on the same page in terms of just worrying about winning.”

Curry echoed a similar message.

“Put the focus on the team, whatever that means to everyone,” Carey said. “We’re all built differently. We all see the game differently. But if your energy can be focused on the team, whether it’s out loud, whether it’s through your energy or your body language. Whatever the sacrifice looks like, that usually creates feedback.” “Positive. You can feed that. You can’t obsess over the stat sheet and what it looks like because that’s not how the game is played. You can’t kind of want anything you might want that night if you’re not focused on winning.”

Carey didn’t mention Thompson’s name directly in that answer, and the words apply to many of the situations that populate the list. Individual priorities determined the Warriors’ early-season fights. All pre-season revolved around contract chatter and punch. Try to force feed them James Wiseman Minutes trying to finish his career. There was a stark difference between Jordan Paul as a starter and a bench player. Turning choices always feel like a decision between the core of the dynasty and the next era.

But Thompson’s struggles came into the spotlight Wednesday night. Mistakes pile up, and an ambitious and unsuccessful third-quarter sequence seemed like the slam dunk that sucked the life out of the Warriors.

“Clay keeps coming down and trying to get out of the early season slump every night,” Kerr told reporters in Phoenix. “He was pressing tonight. The guy has a lot of weight on his shoulders with injuries and where he feels he is now. We have to help Clay and help him get out of his own way. When he can get over his frustration the game will come to him. He will be ok and he will play at a really high level because He still has it. Clay still has it. We know how much Klay has given for this franchise and in the Bay Area. We’ll help him through it, and he’ll get there.”

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The Warriors ripped off Weisman’s experience quickly, pulling him from the rotation because he was negatively affecting the team’s chance of winning the spot. This is the same reason Jonathan Cuminga And the Musa Modi She remains on the sidelines of the spin though more actors are needed for their development.

In a world lost in historical context, the same could be said of Thompson even emerging from his doldrums. When the second most used player on your team makes 35 percent of their shots, the easiest answer is to use less and reduce negative impact. But the Warriors seem intent on letting Thompson ride it because of how many times he’s proven himself in the past. The record books state that this is the second-best three-point shooter in league history.

“It’s always been that Klay Thompson shot that you wouldn’t tell anyone else to take because of his skill set and the work that he puts in,” Curry said. “He’s had slow starts before in seasons. The most important thing — we tell JP this, tell Klay this, tell myself this — you have to let the game come to you. Especially when teams know if you’re starting to get going, it’s hard to beat. They probably have a heightened sense of awareness early on in games because they dread the shape of a clay peak.So let the game come to you.Have some patience and confidence in the way we play as a team that makes good shots.Having him out there changes the game with his feet on the ground because he demands attention No matter what the numbers look like. He’ll come. Just trust him.”


(Top photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)